Luxury riverside hotels, an abundance of shopping opportunities and a great selection of tasty treats can be found in this historic and beautiful city. Perfectly placed on the banks of two rivers Bydgoszcz not only has a rich cultural offering of museums and simply stunning architecture, but also a thriving nightlife and hectic schedule of festivals that reflect the cities long-running association with music and the arts.
A beautiful old city located at the confluence of the Brda and Vistula Rivers, Brygoszcz boasts riverside hotels galore and none is prettier – or more palatial – than the Hotel Słoneczny Młyn (Jagiellońska 96). Brygoszcz’s first four-star hotel, it occupies the site of a former mill and affords stunning views over the Brda River. Another good option is the art deco Bohema Hotel & Spa (Konarskiego 9), which boasts a central location and its own spa. Less expensive but just as comfortable is the Hotel Ogonowski (Fordońska 21), which has neat wooden floors and cheerful pastel-coloured walls.
Brygoszcz has no shortage of places to indulge in a spot of retail therapy, although the quality varies widely and includes lots of international chains. Nevertheless, some unique pieces are to be had at the city’s numerous markets and in the small shops and boutiques of the Old Town, where you can find plenty of handmade local arts and crafts. There are also several malls, including one of Poland’s oldest, Jedynak, which was built in 1911, and Galeria Pomorska (Fordońska 141), which boasts all the big international names and a few designer boutiques.
Poland isn’t famous for its food, but that doesn’t mean tasty treats aren’t to be found in Brygoszcz. The city is capital of the Kujawy region, which is famous for a sour rye soup called zurek that tastes far better than it sounds. Tuck in at Pałac (Konna 10), a lovely rustic eatery located in the suitably bucolic Park Myślęciński in the centre of town, which specialises in regional fare. Another lovely spot is Stary Port (Stary Port 13), which has the cosiest interior imaginable but still manages to bring the Brygoszcz cognoscenti flocking through its doors. If you’ve had your fill of Polish fare, try Baalbek (Magdzińskiego 1), with its surprisingly authentic Lebanese cuisine.
Bydgoszcz Opera Festival
It’s not quite La Traviata or La Bohème, but the city’s annual opera fest, which has been running for over two decades, boasts an excellent line-up of Polish Folk opera. It’s a fascinating way to get under the skin of Poland’s cultural heritage.
A must for seafood aficionados, the city’s celebration of all things marine sees local restaurateurs compete to produce the best fish dishes, and collaborate in creating the country’s largest fish smoker.
Translated as ‘the opener’, Otweiracz kicks off Brygoszcz’s summer party season with a three-day open-air celebration of music, with a focus on reggae and dub.
Art and music collide in Brygoszcz each June as Bulwar Fest brings artists and musicians from all over Europe to the city. Don’t expect anything too folksy though – the focus is on the modern, with the likes of graffiti artists and hip-hop performers making an appearance.
Camerimage Film Festival
Poland’s biggest film festival provides a platform for up-and-coming Polish talent in the form of competitions and screenings. It’s also a great chance to see some of the country’s top filmmakers in action.